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How to Clean and Restore Your RV While Traveling

Line of RVs

It’s easy to clean an RV when it’s parked in a driveway. But RVs—recreational vehicles—weren’t built to live their lives in driveways. They’re mobile, after all, and if you’re going to get the full value out of your RV, you’re going to have to learn to be adaptable on the road. And, yes, that includes even cleaning. But how do you clean an RV when you’re on the road?

Most parking lot owners wouldn’t appreciate you bringing out a hose and wiping it down, leaving the cleaning chemicals on the ground and in the sewers. What’s more, when you’re traveling with an RV, you’re in a continued state of dirtying up your RV, which means you’re going to want to make sure that cleaning the RV actually sticks to some degree. In order to do that, it’s important to focus on the most critical system:

Cleaning Your RV Tanks


If you doubt how vital cleaning your RV tank is, try dealing with a tank that’s backed up…on second thought, don’t try that out. You don’t want to experience it. The wise RV traveler will keep an eye on their RV tank and make sure that it doesn’t get close to having any problems.

Most RVs work with two holding tanks: one for “gray” water—from sinks, showers, and the like—and the “black” water, which is waste. How do you make sure these tanks are well taken care of?

  • Continually treat the black water tank with the appropriate chemicals to keep the waste flowing. Since you’re traveling, you’ll want to especially avoid formaldehyde treatments, as these can be damaging to sewers.
  • Flush the tanks when they reach approximately 60% of their full capacity. Always be on the lookout for free dumping stations at RV sites.

Cleaning out the rest of your RV can largely be done according to your usual routine. If you decide to clean the exterior of your RV, make sure that you use biodegradable soaps and that you do the cleaning and rinsing in an approved area.

Mobile RV Restoration

A phrase like ”mobile RV restoration” might sound fantastical, but if you have the right kind of RV restoration kit on hand, you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish—even when on the road.

It’s also important to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Wax down your RV with Life Wax before a big road trip; this won’t only help protect the fiberglass but will cut down on the amount of washing you have to do.

Being able to treat fiberglass is always important, as well, so a good Fiberglass Rubbing Compound will be handy for removing any new oxidation and stains that come up while on the road.

An RV can truly be a mobile home—so it makes sense that even when you’re traveling, cleaning and restoring your RV is completely possible. It just takes a little know-how, the right products on hand, and a willingness to do things the right way.

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